Senegalese striker Sadio Mane has been named the 2022 African Player of the Year prize ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, claiming the prestigious award at a glitzy ceremony in Rabat on Thursday.
This is “Mane” second African Player of the Year title to become the fifth African after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, and Salah to win the award back-to-back.
Having been recognised as the best player on the continent, he is now two triumphs short of Eto’o and Toure – who won the prize a record four times.
The awards returned for the first time in three years after being suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mane, 30, said as he collected his prize:
I am very, very happy to receive the trophy this year.
I thank the Senegalese people – and dedicate this trophy to the youth of my country.
Mane’s prize was one of five picked up by Senegal in a total of seven men’s categories after a night to remember for the West African nation.
Long-standing Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse won coach of the year, with his side named men’s team of the year, while Pape Sarr was named young player of the year and another Senegalese, Pape Ousmane Sakho, won best goal for his overhead kick for Tanzanian side Simba.
Augustin Senghor, the president of Senegal’s football federation said:
We waited a long time for this Nations Cup. We are a good example to all those teams who have not yet won (the tournament).